The 2014 Aloha Festivals theme, “Maluhia Honua – World Peace With Aloha,” celebrates the worldwide voyage of the Polynesian Voyaging Society’s Hōkūle‘a and its mission to promote world peace.
Aloha Festivals, one of Hawai‘i’s most highly regarded and oldest cultural celebrations is now in its 68th year. This year, the festival takes place from Sept. 6-27 at various locations on Oahu, sharing the history and traditions of Hawaii and the unique spirit of aloha with both kamaʻāina (local residents) and malihini (visitors).
“This year, we honour the round-the-world voyage of the Hōkūle‘a, which encourages people to spread awareness of world peace,” said Helene “Sam” Shenkus, co-chair of the Aloha Festivals’ board of directors. “We invite the community to take part in Aloha Festivals’ celebration of Hawaii’s cultural heritage, aloha and Island traditions.”
The song, “For a Peaceful World,” composed by Irmgard Farden Aluli and translated into Hawaiian by Nāpua Stevens-Poire, inspired the Aloha Festivals’ honouring of the Polynesian Voyaging Society and the intrepid navigators and crews of the Hōkūle’a and its companion vessel, Hikianalia. Both of these cultural icons were for many years participants in and supporters of Aloha Festivals.
“This is an opportunity for locals and visitors to share in Hawaii’s culture,” said Debbie Nakanelua-Richards, who is on the Aloha Festivals board of directors. “The festival theme, Maluhia Honua – World Peace with Aloha, is creating such positive energy in the Islands particularly among the Hawaiian ocean voyaging community as the Polynesian Voyaging Society makes its world tour.”
The celebration kicks off with the investiture of the 2014 Aloha Festivals Royal Court on Sept. 6, followed by an opening ceremony featuring traditional chant and hula; a keiki ho‘olaule‘a (children’s block party) with activities, demonstrations and entertainment by keiki musical groups and hula hālau (hula troupes); and an evening ho‘olaule‘a (block party) with live entertainment on multiple stages, food booths and crafts. The celebration culminates with a floral parade along Kalākaua Avenue on Sept. 27.